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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 18:17, October 18, 2005
Xinjiang steps up trade ties with central Asian countries
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Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has made effective trade and economic cooperation with its neighboring central Asian countries. Trade between Xinjiang and the five central Asian nations accounted for more than 40 percent of the total trade between China and the five.

This was confirmed by Mr. Qian Yong, head of the autonomous region's authority for foreign trade, in an interview with the People's Daily Online on Oct. 15 during the 7th China Hi-Tech Fair in Shenzhen.

For example, he mentioned, the trade between Xiniiang and Kazakhstan valued nearly 3.3 billion USD in 2004 which was 73 percent of the total trade between China and Kazakhstan.

Xinjiang has become a bridgehead promoting China's economic and trade ties with the central Asia and Russia. Qian believes the potential of border trade between Xinjiang and central Asian countries is great.

Firstly, he said, the geopolitical and geoeconomic factors prove the significance in developing the relations. Xinjiang and the five central Asian nations are complementary to each other in terms of the structure of their economies, industries and products.

China's fast-growing economy represents a huge market for exports of central Asian nations, especially oil, natural gas and other raw materials. Qian stressed that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) framework would undoubtedly facilitate the regional economic integration as the SCO members share increasingly broader economic and technological cooperation opportunities and common interests.

However, there are also challenges. Although Xinjiang and its central Asian neighbors are rich in resources, they are weak in capital and technologies, which is a bottleneck for the exploitation of the resources.

Qian said Xinjiang delegation had attended all the seven CHTF over the years to attract technological, human and capital resources from China's east coastal areas to Xinjiang to push forward its trade and economic ties with central Asian nations.

Qian described that Xinjiang has offered as much support as possible to investors. The region will build exports base and processing base, joint hands with domestic enterprises to tap the market in the neighboring nations, and boost border trade.

By People's Daily Online

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